Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes distinct patches of skin (often involving the knees, elbows, and scalp) to become red and thick with white, silvery flakes. The areas involved may be itchy or have a burning quality but are often painless. Psoriasis can affect a small patch of skin or may cover the entire body. It can also involve nails and joints.
Psoriasis affects males and females equally and can begin at any age. It most commonly presents in patients in their teens and twenties.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown – though is likely related to a combination of immune, genetic, and environmental factors.
NON-PRESCRIPTION RECOMMENDATIONS: Lifestyle modification (diet and activity) may help control flares if triggers are known. Sunlight exposure, while protecting against sunburn, may improve symptoms. Over-the-counter moisturizers such as petroleum jelly, thick creams, or certain shampoos can be used to treat mild psoriasis.
TOPICAL: Prescription corticosteroids are often first-line treatments to treat areas of psoriasis and come in various formulations and strengths. Vitamin A/Vitamin D derivatives and other prescription non-steroidal ointments/creams are alternative topical options.
UV LIGHT THERAPY: Narrowband UVB (phototherapy) is a safe and effective treatment option for widespread psoriasis. Our clinic also offers XTRAC® treatment which is often ideal for scalp involvement and other localized areas. These treatments are usually covered by insurance.
SYSTEMIC THERAPIES: For moderate to severe psoriasis, a variety of oral and injectable options are available to treat psoriasis.